You know the problem with 2001: A Space Odyssey, that masterpiece crammed with game-changing shots and widely considered one of the best sci-fi movies of all-time? It’s just too ruddy long.
Be it for us to air this grievance, mind. We’re simply referring to a new recut by Steven Soderbergh, which has seen the director snip a good 50 minutes of running time from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 space opera before posting the edit on his Extension 765 website.
Normally with a director’s cut, you assume the director doing the cutting was the one who made the film in the first place. But not with Soderbergh, who has previously re-shot Raiders' in black-and-white and mashed up both Alfred Hitchcock and Gus Van Sant’s versions of Psycho in a bid to give film students a layered insight into the original genius behind these movies.
For 2001, on the other hand, he appears to have taken it upon himself to make the edit purely because out of his passion for it, writing on his blog that he’s been obsessing over the film for four decades, and finally reached the level of maturity where he feels he can “touch it”.
“Why now? I don’t know. Maybe I wasn’t old enough to touch it until now. maybe I was too scared to touch it until now, because not only does the film not need my—or anyone else’s—help, but if it’s not the most impressively imagined and sustained piece of visual art created in the 20th century, then it’s tied for first. meaning IF I was finally going to touch it, I’d better have a bigger idea than just trimming or re-scoring.”
That he has, going to town on the restructuring, which, if you're into the technical side, you can read all about on his blog, where he also goes on to test the patience of fan boys even further, claiming that Kubrick himself would have embraced the digital camerawork we see so much today.
Angry? Intrigued? Ecstatic? Whatever your initial reaction, you can now watch all 110 minutes of Soderbergh's edit on his website right now to see if this frankly bizarre exercise does justice to the original.
We can only imagine how Stanley Kubrick would have treated the seminal Magic Mike.